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  • Israeli official: EU proposal to negotiate West Bank redlines is a death warrant

    10/24/2014 4:25:27 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/23/2014 06:25 | Herb Keinon
    The European Union is asking Jerusalem to weave the rope with which they will come to hang Israel, a senior diplomatic official said Wednesday in response to reports that the EU is interested in negotiating with Israel over its redlines in the West Bank. Haaretz on Wednesday published an internal document drawn up by EU officials in Brussels that outlined the content of a sharp message regarding Israel’s construction beyond the Green Line and its policies in the West Bank that the EU’s Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen has been instructed to deliver at the “highest possible level” in the...
  • UK rejects ‘appalling’ EU demand for more money

    10/24/2014 9:08:38 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 24, 2014 12:01 PM EDT | Raf Casert and Mike Corder
    British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Friday he would not pay a European Union bill for an additional €2.1 billion ($2.65 billion) contribution to the EU coffers at a time of increasing pressure at home for the country to leave the bloc. Thumping his fist in frustration, Cameron said “people should be in no doubt: as an important contributor to this organization, we are not suddenly going to get out our checkbook and write a check for €2 billion. It is not happening.” Cameron said asking Britain for a top-up of some 20 percent in its contributions on short notice...
  • Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

    10/24/2014 7:46:44 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 24 Oct 2014 11:19 GMT+02:00
    Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. It will receive the rebate on its contributions to the European Union on December 1st, while Britain will have to pay €2.1 billion on the same day. “The British economy is growing much faster than the others, and the logic is the same as with tax: if someone earns more, they pay more tax,” EC spokesman Patrizio Fiorilli told AFP. …
  • Obama taps major fundraiser for Sweden ambassador

    10/23/2014 4:43:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 23, 2014 7:24 PM EDT
    President Barack Obama is nominating a major fundraiser for his presidential campaign to be the next U.S. ambassador to Sweden. The White House says Azita Raji is Obama’s pick for the job. She’s a former investment banker who served as national vice-chair of finance for Obama’s 2012 campaign. She helped raise more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign as a “bundler” in 2012. …
  • European authorities aim to purge weak banks

    10/23/2014 4:29:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 23, 2014 6:22 AM EDT | David McHugh
    Europe’s biggest banks are facing a day of judgment as the European Central Bank prepares to unveil the results of a yearlong search through the dark corners of their finances. It’s a step that comes none too soon for the struggling economy of the 18-country eurozone. The ECB review to be unveiled Sunday seeks to identify banks that are too weak to lend to businesses or make it through another recession and force them to strengthen their finances. It includes a detailed look at 130 banks’ loans, holdings and investments, as well as a so-called stress test that simulates how...
  • Irish senators build EU momentum on Palestine recognition

    10/23/2014 2:57:13 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 23.08.14 @ 09:28 | Andrew Rettman
    Irish senators have adopted a non-binding motion on Palestine recognition, as the EU prepares to set out new red lines on Israel relations. The motion, tabled by Averil Power from the opposition Fianna Fáil party, passed without a vote on Wednesday (22 October) after winning cross-party support. It urges the Irish government “to formally recognize the state of Palestine and do everything it can to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. Power told the Senate that in the past 20 years “while pretending to talk peace … [Israel’s] illegal settlements in the West Bank have trebled...
  • ‘Racist’ school excluded English-speaking students from trip (Kidderminster, England)

    10/22/2014 11:54:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 37 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2:53PM BST 01 Oct 2014 | (Agencies)
    A primary school has been accused of racism after English speaking children were barred from going on school trip and forced to attend classes instead. St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Kidderminster, Worcs., laid on a petting zoo visit on Tuesday for non-English speaking pupils only, while pupils who did speak the language had to stay in lessons. Parents criticized the decision and said their children had been discriminated against for being British. Several even refused to allow their children to go to school on the day of the trip to Rays Farm, near Bridgnorth, Shrops., which was...
  • Do German unions have too much power?

    10/21/2014 11:07:15 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 21 Oct 2014 15:29 GMT+02:00 | Sabine Devins
    Germany’s pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? After a 50-hour strike by the train drivers unions, GDL, Deutsche Bahn said the loss of the weekend’s services cost the company “tens of millions of euros”. One analyst said that the latest strike in escalating industrial action by pilots union Cockpit will cost Lufthansa €30 million. But all parties accuse the other of the...
  • Older workers can have extra days off (says labor court in Germany)

    10/21/2014 6:38:11 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 21 Oct 2014 14:26 GMT+02:00 | (DPA/The Local)
    Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. Younger employees of a shoe manufacturer in Rhineland-Palatinate brought a case against their employer for giving two extra days off per year to their colleagues aged 58 and over and appealed it to the country’s highest labor court. But Germany’s anti-discrimination law (AGG) allows for different treatment for workers based on their age, experience or length of service under certain conditions, the judges said. …
  • Europe emission targets 'will fail to protect climate'

    10/20/2014 4:27:08 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    BBC News ^ | October 20, 2014 | By Roger Harrabin
    Europe’s leaders are about to consign the Earth to the risk of dangerous climate change, a UN expert says. Prof Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the EU’s plan to cut CO2 emissions 40% by 2030 is too weak. He says it will commit future governments to “extraordinary and unprecedented” emissions cuts. The Commission rejected the claim, saying the 40% target puts Europe on track for long-term climate goals. Prof Skea believes governments are setting targets by what appears to be politically achievable rather than what is necessary to transform the way we make...
  • Single parents, common law families on rise (Germany)

    10/20/2014 11:42:11 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 20 Oct 2014 15:48 GMT+02:00 | (DPA/The Local)
    The German family structure is changing, with nearly a third of every family no longer living in the “classic model” and big differences in what family looks like in the former East and West, statistics agency Destatis announced on Monday. The 2013 Microcensus showed that 70 percent of families consisted of a married couple and at least one child under the age of 18. And while the classical model still dominates, the figures show it’s in decline. In 1996, 81 percent of families centered on a married couple.Today, 20 percent of children live with single parents, up six percent from...
  • Fire exposes illegal Chinese factories in Italy

    10/20/2014 1:46:17 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 20, 2014 1:55 AM EDT | Erika Kinetz
    The first thing the firefighters saw was the arm sticking out of the barred window on the second floor of the factory. Flames reached through the partially collapsed roof and a high column of smoke darkened the winter sky. This fire had been burning for some time. The fire station is two minutes from the Teresa Moda garment factory, on the edge of the main industrial zone of Prato, a town outside Florence. The zone was developed for Italian textile manufacturers in the 1980s but now is predominantly Chinese. […] Prato is the epicenter of a thriving, illicit Chinese economy...
  • Rome mayor defiantly registers 16 gay marriages (Italy)

    10/18/2014 7:24:27 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 18, 2014 8:31 AM EDT | Nicole Winfield
    The gay marriage debate arrived within walking distance of the Vatican on Saturday as Rome’s mayor registered 16 gay marriages celebrated abroad in open defiance of Italy’s government. Gay marriage is illegal in Italy. […] Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino received thunderous applause as he arrived in the city hall reception room where the couples, their friends and family gathered to make their marriages official in Rome’s city ledger. One by one, the couples—gay and lesbian, some with children—were called up to witness Marino transcribe the date and locations of their weddings, including in Spain, Portugal and the U.S. …
  • German judge sparks outrage, says anti-Semitism was only limited to Nazi period

    10/18/2014 1:29:15 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/17/2014 04:28 | Benjamin Weinthal
    A regional judge in Munich is embroiled in a highly charged dispute over her statement in a civil case that German anti-Semitism was limited to the Nazi period of 1933-1945, suggesting that post-Holocaust anti-Semitism is not a factor in Jew-hatred. The Munich regional judge, Petra Grönke-Müller, sparked outrage on October 8 with her courtroom assertion during a civil case that “a fiery anti-Semite is someone in Germany who talks, with conviction, in an anti-Semitic way and, with conviction, does not condemn the Third Reich and cannot view the period 1933-1945 as separate from the background of history.” […] Speaking to...
  • Britain is ‘lighting a fire’ under the European Union, says Philip Hammond

    10/17/2014 9:33:10 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8:00PM BST 17 Oct 2014 | Matthew Holehouse
    Britain is “lighting a fire under the European Union” by holding an in-out referendum on membership, Philip Hammond said today, as the Bill to give the public a vote cleared its first crucial hurdle in the House of Commons. The Foreign Secretary said setting in law a referendum on EU membership would force Brussels to grant Britain “meaty and substantial” reforms. The Private Members Bill, sponsored by Bob Neill, a former minister and vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, yesterday sailed through its second reading of the Commons by 293 to 0, and will now face further scrutiny. […] David Cameron...
  • [Germany] Diverse Berlin could get first mayor ‘with accent’ (a ‘Palestinian’ candidate)

    10/17/2014 12:34:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 17.10.2014 | Jefferson Chase
    For more than a decade, Berlin has been governed by an openly homosexual mayor. But is the city, renowned for its tolerance, ready for a leader from a Palestinian background? It may have to be. […] … Berlin SPD parliamentary leader Raed Saleh only needs to open his mouth to stand out from the crowd. Saleh came to Berlin at the age of five with his Palestinian parents, and although his German is beyond reproach, he speaks the language with a distinct Arabic twang. “Berlin is a city of diversity; a city of 100 different accents,” Saleh told DW. “People...
  • Barroso defends his EU legacy, criticizes ‘anti-foreigner’ euroskeptics

    10/17/2014 3:13:34 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 15.10.14 @ 10:32 | Honor Mahony
    With two weeks to go until he is formally out of office and, as of yet, with no fixed onward job, Jose Manuel Barroso is a politician concerned with his legacy. […] He argues the EU has emerged stronger from the crisis, equipped with around 40 new pieces of legislation dealing with financial supervision—and a whole lot more power for the European Commission. “We have powers that our predecessors could not even dream of,” he says, highlighting the commission’s new right to “reject” draft national budgets. […] Asked about the roots of euroskepticism—a stronger political phenomenon in recent years—he says...
  • EU's triple whammy: Recession, deflation, and debt

    10/16/2014 7:34:02 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 10/16/2014 | Rick Moran
    Here we go again. Another sovereign debt crisis on the periphery of the EU is underway and many of the same factors that led to previous debt meltdowns are present. Germany is headed for a triple dip recession. Continent-wide deflation is nearly a reality. And many EU nations are smashing the debt limits demanded by treaty, thus threatening the Euro itself. All of this is impacting the percentage of debt in relation to GDP in several countries, making government bonds more expensive and debt servicing a nightmare. The Hill: Among Europe's most recent economic tremors has been the growing evidence...
  • EU parliament’s euro-skeptic bloc collapses

    10/16/2014 7:29:39 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 16.10.2014 | ipj/es (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
    A Euro-skeptic bloc within the European Parliament has collapsed. A Latvian member has pulled out of the group, breaching an EU rule that at least seven countries must be represented in a parliamentary faction. […] The exit also prompted European Parliament President Martin Schulz to postpone the assembly’s decision over this year’s Sacharov human rights prize until Tuesday next week. Nominees include Ukraine’s pro-EU Maidan protesters. […] There was a celebratory response from the main center-right European People’s Party (EPP) faction in the parliament, which alternates its sittings between Brussels and Strasbourg. “First defeat for euro-skeptics!” the EPP responded in...
  • In a government address, Merkel urges dialogue with Russia

    10/16/2014 7:21:14 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 16.10.14
    In a 20-minute address to the German parliament on Thursday, covering a range of policy issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel placed emphasis on the crisis in Ukraine. Merkel’s speech came ahead of direct talks with Russian and Ukrainian leaders at the European-Asian ASEM summit that also opens on Thursday in the Italian city of Milan. “The situation on the ground in Ukraine is dire,” Merkel said in front of Bundestag lawmakers, adding: “I will speak face-to-face with [Russian President Vladimir Putin] and [Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko] about ways to move forward in constructive fashion while in Milan.” […] Merkel’s address...
  • German jihadist in Syria threatens ‘filthy’ Merkel

    10/16/2014 5:59:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 16 Oct 2014 10:50 GMT+02:00
    A German Islamist fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria has released a propaganda video threatening Germans and Chancellor Angela Merkel. […] The German jihadist, who has the name Abu Dauoud al-Almani, first rants against the US and President Barack Obama, before turning his attention to his homeland. “The same to you O Germans and to filthy Merkel who gave gifts to Israel” He then calls for his “brothers” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to join jihad. …
  • [Palestinian Authority] PA Cited for Anti-Semitic Works at Int’l Book Fair (Frankfurt, Germany)

    10/15/2014 9:46:15 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    INN ^ | Wednesday, October 15, 2014 7:39 AM | Moshe Philips and Benyamin Korn
    International donors this week praised the leaders of the Palestinian Authority as moderate peace-seekers who can be trusted with billions of dollars in aid for Gaza—at the very same time the PA was being named “second worst offender” for distributing anti-Semitic publications at Europe's largest book fair. The European branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, headed by Dr. Shimon Samuels, this week released its list of those who circulated anti-Semitic books and magazines at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest annual gathering of publishers in Europe. Qatar was cited as the “Worst Offender of 2014.” But the Qataris had stiff...
  • [North Carolina] Gov. to French, Irish: Don’t mess with our tobacco

    10/15/2014 2:56:14 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 15, 2014 4:31 PM EDT | Jonathan Drew
    In a Trans-Atlantic debate over cigarette packaging, North Carolina’s governor poses a rhetorical question to the Irish and French governments: Would Guinness be recognizable labeled simply as “beer?” Or would champagne sell as well in a bottle lacking its distinctive curves? Gov. Pat McCrory has written letters to French and Irish officials decrying plans in those countries to force manufacturers to package their cigarettes in plain containers. McCrory argues farmers and manufacturers in the top U.S. tobacco-producing state would be hurt by the proposals to remove brand logos and colors from cigarette boxes. “Plain packaging laws are a direct assault...
  • Diplomats: EU weighs steps to curb settlements, including blacklisting convicted settlers

    10/14/2014 10:15:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Reuters via Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/14/2014 17:29 | (Luke Baker)
    European officials are looking at new ways to press Israel to halt its building of settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state, as frustration over the construction program reaches a new high, European diplomats say. The discussions are at an early stage, but officials say the European Union may look at stopping Jewish settlers convicted of crimes from visiting the EU and could examine the fine print of a free-trade agreement, although there is no talk of sanctions. A series of steps by Israel in recent weeks, including the seizure of 1,000 acres of land near the Palestinian...
  • France says will recognize Palestinian state if negotiations fail

    10/14/2014 10:11:16 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Reuters via Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/14/2014 19:18 | (Reuters: John Irish)
    France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that Paris should recognize a Palestinian state only if doing so would help achieve peace, not as a symbolic gesture. However, if negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel fail, Paris “would not shirk its responsibilities” but would recognize the Palestinian state, the minister, Laurent Fabius, said in answer to a question in parliament. His remarks came a day after British lawmakers voted to recognize Palestine. Their vote will not alter government policy, but it does carry symbolic value as Palestinians pursue international recognition. “From the moment when we say that there are two states,...
  • Report: In EU, renewable energy is the first recipient of state aid

    10/13/2014 10:46:44 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 13/10/2014 - 17:01
    The European Commission published a study on Monday (13 October) providing the first full dataset on energy costs and subsidies for the 28 member countries across the different power generation technologies, revealing that the largest share of public intervention in the energy sector has been in favor of solar and on-shore wind energy. The results show that in 2012, the total value of public intervention in energy in the member countries has been between €120-140 billion. The report finds that the largest amounts of current public support in 2012 went to renewables, in particular to solar (€14.7 billion) and onshore...
  • Anti-EU UKIP demands early ‘Brexit’ vote as poll shows support surging

    10/13/2014 10:33:00 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:43pm BST | Andrew Osborn
    Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party said on Sunday it would use its growing success to try to secure an early referendum on leaving the European Union, after its support hit a record high of 25 percent in an opinion poll. The poll, published days after UKIP won its first elected seat in Britain’s parliament at the expense of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, suggested it could pick up more seats than previously thought in a national election in May. UKIP favors a British exit from the European Union, known as a “Brexit”, and tighter immigration controls. It has shaken...
  • EU to unveil business deregulation plan

    10/12/2014 10:30:50 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Manchester Guardian ^ | Sunday 12 October 2014 13.55 EDT | Ian Traynor and Arthur Neslen
    A controversial demand for a new deregulation spree shredding the rules for doing business in the European Union is to be unveiled on Tuesday in Brussels. Edmund Stoiber, the former leader of Bavaria, will propose that all small and medium sized enterprises enjoy virtually blanket exemption from the rules governing business practices. His proposal for a “bonfire of red tape” has an explicitly political agenda, aimed at reversing public perceptions of Brussels as a “bureaucratic monster”. British officials are said to be delighted with the Stoiber report and panel participants said that Michael Gibbons, chair of the UK’s regulatory policy...
  • Report: Growing Numbers of French Leaving Homeland

    10/11/2014 3:51:12 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 28 replies
    Newsmax ^ | Saturday, 11 Oct 2014 06:18 PM | Todd Beamon
    As many as 2.5 million French men and women live abroad—and more are leaving every year, mostly heading to London. The French Foreign Ministry said 1.6 million people left the country last year, The Independent of London reported Saturday. The data include those who had registered at French consulates abroad. “The real figure is twice as high,” Hélène Charveriat, the delegate-general of the Union of French Citizens Abroad, told the Independent. […] “Young people feel stuck, and they want interesting jobs. … Businessmen say the labor code is complex, and they’re taxed even before they start working. Pensioners can also...
  • Eurozone in danger of repeating Japanese stagnation, IMF chief warns

    10/10/2014 6:07:07 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 10 replies
    euobserver ^ | 2014/10/10 | Benjamin Fox
    Eurozone in danger of repeating Japanese stagnation, IMF chief warns By Benjamin Fox BRUSSELS - International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde has warned that the eurozone risks following Japan and falling into a prolonged cycle of recession and stagnation. Speaking on Thursday (9 October) ahead of the IMF's annual meeting in Washington DC, Lagarde said: “We have also alerted to the risk of recession in the eurozone", putting the likelihood of a drop in output at "between 35-40%, which is not insignificant". “We are not saying that the eurozone is heading towards recession, but we are saying that there is...
  • Where tax goes: fish farms and frog tunnels (Germany)

    10/09/2014 9:23:27 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 09 Oct 2014 08:00 GMT+02:00
    This year the Taxpayers’ Alliance (BdS) has focused on unprofitable businesses run by local governments in its annual “Black Book” of government waste—but still found space to name and shame some of the biggest money sinks in Germany. […] The BdS is campaigning for local administrations to limit themselves to infrastructure and basic services for their citizens in local ventures, rather than some of the luxury offerings including cinemas and spas from certain communes. That’s businesses like a saltwater fish farm in the Saarland, 600 kilometers from the sea, and a loss-making publicly-owned vineyard are in the organization’s sights. But...
  • Bavarian farmer diapers cow over EU rules plan (ban cow dung on hills > 15% grade)

    10/09/2014 9:06:00 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 09 Oct 2014 11:12 GMT+02:00 | (DPA/The Local)
    The Bavarian Farmers Association (BBV) is calling foul on new rules proposed by the European Union Commission to ban cow dung from hillsides with a gradient more than 15 percent. The goal is to avoid water pollution by stopping nitrates from leaching into ground waters. “We demand that Germany stops this ban,” said Upper Bavaria BBV president Anton Kreitmair at Wednesday’s protest. “Slurry and dung are not pollutants, but valuable fertilizers.” The protest had no placards or slogans—just Doris the cow, wearing a plastic sheet tied around her rear end by farmer Johann Huber. “We have no regular Pampers; the...
  • Industrial output collapse blamed on holidays (Germany)

    10/08/2014 7:45:12 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 07 Oct 2014 10:24 GMT+02:00 | (AFP/The Local)
    German industrial production dropped at its fastest rate since 2009 in August, weighed down by falling manufacturing and construction output. The latest set of poor economic figures have prompted fears of a recession. […] Manufacturing output fell by 4.8 percent and construction output was down by 2.0 percent while energy construction output edged up by 0.3 percent, the (economy) ministry calculated. It blamed the fall in August on the summer break, saying production output was affected “by the late position of the summer holidays”.
  • Russian Border Agents Has Closed Novorossiya For Volonteers

    10/07/2014 10:59:39 PM PDT · by wetphoenix · 5 replies
    Gazeta.ru ^ | October 6, 2014 | Vladimir Dergachev
    Rebels claim that Moscow closes borders for volunteers from Russia and suppliers of freights to Donbass. To supporters of "the Russian spring" arises more and more questions from law enforcement agencies. Experts consider that the power intends to interfere further with private initiatives in the help to rebels of DNR and LNR. According to the field commander from DNR Oleg Miller, initially, when the Ukrainian crisis only inflamed, people with the weapon weren't allowed to pass neither in, nor out. But, as he claims, the border wasn't protected effectively that gave the chance to carry out big convoys with people...
  • EU Policy Makers Propose Scrapping Mandatory Tar Sands Label

    10/07/2014 1:42:01 PM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone | October 07, 2014 | Barbara Lewis
    The European Commission on Tuesday proposed scrapping a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting after years of industry opposition. The new proposal abandons one obstacle to Canada shipping crude from tar sands to Europe and is likely to draw strong criticism from environmental campaigners and Green politicians. It is suggested in a revised draft law on how refiners report the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply. The debate about labelling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when EU member states approved legislation with the aim of cutting greenhouse gases from...
  • Euro Disney shares dive as it needs bailout

    10/06/2014 1:08:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 6, 2014 9:25 AM EDT | Greg Keller
    In Europe, even Mickey Mouse is getting a bailout. The Disney resort on the outskirts of Paris is getting a financial lifeline from owner The Walt Disney Company to handle rising debt and a decline in visitors at a time of economic uncertainty in Europe. The €1 billion ($1.3 billion) lifeline will see the park’s California masters take control of Euro Disney, which runs Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park. Until now, the U.S. company owned only 40 percent of the theme park operator, alongside Saudi prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal and a host of small European investors who originally...
  • Ten of thousands march for ‘family values’ in France

    10/05/2014 11:29:14 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Tens of thousands took to the streets in Paris and Bordeaux Sunday to demonstrate for what protesters called “traditional family values” and against assisted pregnancies and surrogacy. The demonstrations were organized by the «Manif pour Tous» (“Protest for Everyone”) group that waged an ultimately unsuccessful grassroots movement against the adoption of same-sex marriage in France last year. Their target this time is medically assisted procreation techniques for lesbian couples and surrogacy, which must be “fought at all costs,” according to the group’s president Ludovine de la Rochère. …
  • Europe’s Parliament Returning to the “Schoene Zeiten” (supporting antisemites, Islamists)

    10/05/2014 10:59:14 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    INN ^ | October 04, 2014 8:12 PM | Giulio Meotti
    From 1994 to 2011, the European Union donated €4.26 billion to the Palestinian Authority through various channels—and this figure does not take into account individual EU states’ donations to the PA. Much of this money went to finance the Palestinian Arab war against Israel through daily incitement, diplomatic warfare and salaries to terrorists. Europe has also been very careful in selecting its symbols, especially now that Jews are fleeing the old continent, plagued by anti-Semitism. […] I can list many other examples of the European incitement against the Israeli people. But I hadn’t imagined that Brussels could have even considered...
  • New settlements plan threatens ties with Israel, EU says

    10/03/2014 11:25:26 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Reuters ^ | Fri Oct 3, 2014 9:37am EDT | Robin Emmott
    Plans for new settlements in East Jerusalem pose a threat to peace and Israel’s relations with the European Union, the 28-member bloc said on Friday, joining the United States in its criticism of the decision. The strong language from the European Union, the biggest aid donor to the Palestinians, who seek statehood in territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war, echoes criticism from Germany, France and Washington. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the decision to build 2,610 homes in Givat Hamatos would be the first new settlement in the East Jerusalem area for 15 years. “This represents a...
  • The black gold of Alsace (France puts old oil wells back into production)

    10/03/2014 10:25:41 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | October 2, 2014 | Merkwiller-Pechelbronn
    A rusty truck and abandoned oil pumps form part of the French Oil Museum in Alsace. In the mid-18th century, the region was the cradle of the oil industry and provided 5 percent of French needs before fading into insignificance in the 1960s when the barrel lingered around $15. Now with oil prices hovering around $100, a dozen fields are pumping again. The activity near the Rhine on the German border does not amount to an oil boom. The region provides 1 percent of French oil production, which is just under 2 percent of European output. Nonetheless, 13 wells are...
  • Sweden to recognize Palestinian state

    10/03/2014 2:41:14 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 3, 2014 2:38 PM EDT | Karl Ritter
    Sweden’s new prime minister said Friday that his government will recognize a Palestinian state, a move that drew praise from Palestinian officials. In a declaration listing his government’s priorities, Social Democratic leader Stefan Lofven told lawmakers that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved through a two-state solution requiring “mutual recognition” and a will from both sides to co-exist peacefully. “Therefore Sweden will recognize the state of Palestine,” Lofven said. …
  • Put UK back in charge of human rights laws

    10/03/2014 9:08:23 AM PDT · by Olog-hai
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 17:58 EST, 2 October 2014 | (Daily Mail Comment)
    For years, the Mail has campaigned against the insidious and remorseless undermining of the sovereignty of Parliament and our judicial system by the remote, unaccountable European Court of Human Rights. From demanding that prisoners should get the vote to halting the deportation of terrorists who hate this country’s values, it is synonymous with judgments that fly in the face of common sense and the interests of the British people. Indeed, judicial activism in Strasbourg—and, remember, some ECHR members represent countries with populations smaller than the London borough of Islington—has warped the original noble intentions of the British authors of the...
  • City starts beer for alcoholics project (Essen, Germany)

    10/01/2014 12:45:44 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 01 Oct 2014 08:57 GMT+02:00 | (AFP)
    A city in western Germany will start a controversial project on Wednesday to employ alcohol and drug addicts to clean the streets in return for beer, tobacco, food and small amounts of cash. Social workers will closely oversee the project dubbed “Pick Up” in a dilapidated area around the central railway station of the industrial city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia. An initial six people will sweep streets and collect garbage in return for €1.25 per hour, a warm meal and three bottles of beer after their shift, as well as tobacco for smokers. …
  • Activist who urged killing Israelis nominated for top EU award

    09/29/2014 3:34:45 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | September 28, 2014, 6:11 pm | Elhanan Miller
    A group of over 50 European Parliament members has nominated a controversial Egyptian activist for the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, despite his having advocated the assassination of Israelis and political leaders in Egypt and called for an end to the State of Israel. Alaa Abdel Fattah, 32, an Egyptian blogger and political activist, has been arrested numerous times by Egyptian authorities since the eruption of a popular revolution in the country in early 2011. Abdel Fattah, who boasts 626,000 followers on Twitter and 156,000 on Facebook, was released on bail September 15 after being charged with organizing...
  • Ex-General: Germany needs to up defense spending

    09/29/2014 3:14:11 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 29, 2014 5:12 AM EDT
    A retired top-ranking German general said Monday a string of recent embarrassing military equipment failures shows the country needs to spend more on defense, as another aircraft breakdown came to light. […] Former chief of staff Harald Kujat told rbb-radio the problem comes because the German military has been increasingly involved in large operations like in Afghanistan, but has neglected equipment maintenance and replacement. Germany this year reduced defense spending by about €800 million to €32.44 billion ($41.30 billion)—far below NATO’s recommended level of 2 percent of GDP. …
  • European Commission accuses Apple of prospering from illegal Irish tax deals

    09/28/2014 6:54:49 PM PDT · by Swordmaker · 26 replies
    MacDailyNews ^ | Sunday, September 28, 2014 · 7:20 pm
    “Apple will be accused of prospering from illegal tax deals with the Irish government for more than two decades when Brussels this week unveils details of a probe that could leave the iPhone maker with a record fine of as much as several billions of euros,” Tim Bradshaw, Alex Barker and Vanessa Houlder report for The Financial Times. “Preliminary findings from the European Commission’s investigation into Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland, where it has had a rate of less than 2 per cent, claim the Silicon Valley company benefited from illicit state aid after striking backroom deals with Ireland’s authorities,...
  • French conservatives capture control of Senate

    09/28/2014 1:35:35 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 28, 2014 2:43 PM EDT | Sylvie Corbet
    Conservatives won French Senate elections Sunday to take control of parliament’s upper house, handing President François Hollande’s Socialists a new setback. The far-right National Front party also gained its first two Senate seats in the balloting. The Senate press office said a final count will await tallies from all of France’s overseas holdings—not likely until Monday, but it was already clear that the conservatives were back in control of the 348-seat chamber. …
  • Juncker rejects UK push for independent scrutiny of EU laws

    09/27/2014 7:41:20 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 09/26/2014 11:39 | James Crisp
    The new European Commission has rejected the UK Government’s call to set up an independent body to scrutinize EU regulation and impact assessments before and after legislative proposals are adopted by the executive. Jean-Claude Juncker’s spokeswoman, Natasha Bertaud, told EurActiv that impact assessments would remain an internal matter before proposals were adopted. Frans Timmermans, Juncker’s choice for the new post of vice president in charge of better regulation, would ensure their quality, she said, after pointing to EU treaties governing Commission procedures. Currently, research on the impact of regulation is looked over by an internal Commission department. It is then...
  • Illegal activities boost Spain’s GDP by $11 bln

    09/25/2014 8:53:33 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 25, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
    Spain’s National Statistics Institute says money generated by drug trafficking, prostitution, smuggling and illegal gambling contributed some €9 billion ($11.4 billion) to the national economy last year. […] The figures are being included in GDP calculations on the recommendation of the European Union, which is trying to harmonize estimates across member states and get a full picture of economic activity, whether legal or not. …
  • China Says It Will Never Support Sanctions Against Russia

    09/24/2014 3:39:59 PM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 6 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 09/24/14 | Tyler Durden
    Russia is already more isolated than at any time since the Cold War" - President Obama, August 2014 "China will never support or join recently imposed sanctions against Russia" - China President Xi Jinping, September 2014